News 9-30-08 Fitzgeralds

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Posted by: Danny - 9/30/2008 12:47:39 PM
Wow... I know this was coming up... but laying off all those people right before the holidays and in the midst of an economic downturn. That has got to hurt. Hopefully though... this will turn out as perfect as the Montage has been looking.

Posted by: Crystal - 9/30/2008 12:53:20 PM
I am happy they are doing something with the property. As long as they re-open it, the job losses are temporary. But if it just sits there and becomes the Virginian, or the Kings Inn, that won't be good. I doubt that would happen though with the primary players of Fitz also owning the condo project right across the street. It's in their own interest to improve the the Fitz.

Posted by: Jason S - 9/30/2008 1:00:01 PM
If I remember from your poll the Fitzgerald's was at the top of the list next to Circus Circus of downtown casino properties people feel need to be remodeled. So now Cashell Jr. is about to invest tens of millions into redoing the hotel, and people burn the new owners at the stake. Yes the job loss sucks, but it's not like when Sundowner closed, when the employees, including myself, received 1 day's notice, not 2 months notice. Or when the Comstock Closed. Or when the Pioneer closed.

Posted by: Mark W. - 9/30/2008 1:02:56 PM
Agreed about the rather unfortunate timing but on the other hand, the type of development that coming from this owner/developer team has been much more diverse in terms of use and function as compared to a gaming building. More uses equals more redundant positions in the same area, so despite the bad timing this is likely a move that will strengthen the economic landscape in Reno.

Posted by: Sully - 9/30/2008 1:03:41 PM
The job loss right before the holidays is not good for those people. I hope other casinos are hiring. A non-gaming hotel downtown? Times are definitel changing in Reno. Perhaps it's growing up a bit after all.

Posted by: wiley_n_Reno - 9/30/2008 2:28:23 PM
The dated Fitzgerald already went out of business and was bought out by banks to keep it running. It's too bad about the layoffs but couldn't people see this coming? They announced it would be renovated about a year ago.

Posted by: LoftGirl86 - 9/30/2008 3:54:28 PM
So what are the new plans?

Posted by: Bugsy - 9/30/2008 4:08:52 PM
Im reading this and I feel both very excited and very upset. I am happy that the hotel is getting the complete makeover it desperatly needs, but I am also very upset that they are closing the casino part of the hotel. Why is the redevelopement agency trying to steer away from gaming downtown. Gaming is the life line of the city. Always have, always will. When the Indian casinos started popping up in California, Reno almost became a ghost town. That shows that this city is a gaming tourist city. Most people coming to visit, come to gamble. Every city in the United states have hotels, but only a few, including Reno, have hotels with casinos. The people who bought condos downtown, like myself, knew that they were going to be living within close proximaty of the casinos when the bought them. Gaming = Jobs. Mr Leal, You have established yourself a great and respectiful business leader here in downtown and I would "bet" that you have a very favorable appoval rating with the downtown residental and business owners (including myself). Don't tarnish your image by eliminating the casino jobs downtown, especially during these economic times.

Posted by: Gene Bencomo - 9/30/2008 7:13:02 PM
I have such fond memories of this casino. Frankly, it is the only casino I would win!!!! Its sad to see such an institution in Reno close. You will be missed old friend.

Posted by: Larry - 10/2/2008 11:28:02 AM
Although the timing right before the holidays is tough, I'm sure everyone can understand that gaming has been losing money in this ecomony, and tough business decisions have to be made to protect everyone's interests. As a native of Reno, I'm looking forward to seeing new types of business develop right downtown - and what better than starting with the Fitz. It's an older building that could really use a facelift - and L3 Development is the only company doing just that in Reno. Progress is painful to many - like those poor employees who lose their jobs now. But in the end, it'll be better for them to establish themselves in growing industries while Reno takes a new shape. In time...it will make sense to everyone, however painful it seems now.

Posted by: Mark W. - 10/2/2008 3:03:35 PM
Bugsy, it's really important to realize that despite the rich history Reno has as a tourist destination for gaming, it is both overly nostalgic and economically shortsighted to claim that it is Reno's sole option for income. L3 understands that new development must incorporate an evolving economic infrastructure - gaming is not as powerful an influence here as it once was and to ignore that change would doom the long-term viability of any project. Several groups have redeveloped old hotel-casinos into new hotel-casinos, and they failed - Golden Phoenix was gone in a flash. A new tack needs to be taken and I am glad that a developer has embraced the potentially limitless possibilities of the Truckee River corridor in Reno by breaking the mold.

Posted by: Walt - 10/3/2008 9:23:34 AM
My only concern with the Fitzgeralds closing (besides concerns for the employees of course) is what happens to the front facade. When the same developers closed the Golden Phoenix next door, the facade on Virginia Street had a big "Food Court remodeling, opening next spring!" sign up. Never happened, and that abandoned store front became the #1 hangout for street people begging in the downtown casino district. Now we may have two such homeless shelters sitting side by side. I sure hope not.

Posted by: RenoSteve - 10/4/2008 11:06:57 AM
Walt, in the current credit environment - most developers will have a hard time securing financing. We can only hope that financial institutions begin to right themselves and that credit availability begins to loosen. That said, if credit issues do not interupt plans, there are several positive things going on all around the Fitz. If you look at the staff links for this Wednesday's RDA meeting you will notice proposed facade improvements for most of the store fronts along the west side of Virginia between the Fitz and 2nd St and proceeding around the corner on the north side of 2nd until it gets to the alley. Those improvements are apparently about to be funded. Second, at the Aug 20 Council meeting, the following NEW downtown gaming application was approved - Club 241 Casino, Robert A. Cashell, Jr., 241 North Virginia Street. That is the address of the shuttered Golden Phoenix Annex (owned by Leal) on Virginia that currently hosts homeless folks under its entry. So, it appears that while Leal plans to transform the Fitz to a non-gaming hotel of some kind, he and Cashell Jr may also be planning to renovate and resume gaming in the adjacent building. And, since Leal also owns the "Vino" building that faces the new Montage entry across Sierra, the historic Masonic building and the Old Reno casino - I would guess he could well have several announcements to make about future plans as he winds up work on the Montage. This, in the current issue of NNBW, also addresses some of those questions... http://www.nnbw.biz/ArticleRead.aspx?storyID=11829

Posted by: Dean - 10/4/2008 11:26:23 AM
Fitzgerald's is closeing Lemerick's Pub and Grill tonight 4Oct Come to the wake tonight.


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